Wine enthusiasts regard the Santa Lucia Highlands as one of the crown jewels of California viticulture. The AVA is home to some of the state’s most vibrant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and other varietals. It was Spanish missionaries who first recognized that the soil and climate of the area was favorable to viticulture and began planting vines on the rolling windswept hillsides. Today, the appellation encompasses over 6,000 acres of vineyards, most planted on elevated terraces not far from the Monterey Bay.
It was here that Gary Pisoni first planted his namesake (and now legacy) vineyard, one of the highest in the region, back in 1982. With southeast-facing vineyards starting at just above the valley floor and rising to elevations of up to 1300 feet, the vineyards first grab the morning sun and then enjoy a cool afternoon breeze that slows the fruit-ripening process down and gives the fruit time to develop the character and flavor that eventually appears in the glass.
Produced from three small blocks, Pisoni’s Lucia Chardonnay is an accurate reflection of the family’s commitment to sustainably-grown wines of great character. With bright yellow-green hues and a slight unfiltered haze, the wine offers tantalizing aromas of white peach and pineapple followed by intriguing flavors of ripe pear, nectarine, and honeysuckle. Oak is barely evident, used just to add a bit of structure and a pleasing hint of vanilla. The vibrant fruit-driven acidity of the wine carries its exhilarating array of flavors through to a long flourishing finish.